Friday, July 3, 2009

How It Began

 The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity. It feels like our lives are changing faster than we can keep up, but we should start at the beginning, so here is a very short version:

For many years we have wondered if God would call us to missions someday. About three years ago we felt that God was saying it was time to seriously begin seeking His will in the matter. Even though we didn’t feel that our time pastoring in Deep River was over yet, we began feeling drawn to Malawi, Africa, and the ministry there. At that time, it also seemed that the doors to ministry in Malawi were not swinging wide open. So we just kept praying and learning more about missions and various countries.

At the beginning of 2009, through prayer, we began feeling that it was time for us to actively move in the direction of missions. So we approached Dan Sheffield, our Canadian Missions Director, to find out what opportunities he was aware of. We didn’t mention our specific interest in Malawi, but did indicate an interest in teaching Bible. In his reply to us he mentioned only one country: Malawi! What a confirmation!

About two months ago he put us in touch with the Africa Area Director, Mike Reynen, and since then everything has been going so much faster than we could have ever imagined! One of the first things we had to do was find a sending church, which would partner with us and receive and receipt the donations people sent to support us, since we have to raise our own support.

Ideally this sending church would already have some connection to Malawi. We were not, however, aware of any such church. Mid May we sent a prayer letter to many friends and fellow Free Methodists asking them to pray with us for a sending church. At the time our destination had not been confirmed, so we could not mention Malawi in the e-mail, just that we were going to the “mission field.” One of the replies we got was from a pastor’s wife who introduced us to Jeanne Tucker, who is the treasurer of the New Hope Free Methodist Church. Jeanne was very interested in helping us and having her church become our sending church, possibly jointly with another church. That was great news, but what really took our breath away was that she used to be a missionary in..... Malawi. Her church also sponsors a home for AIDS orphans there. New Hope Free Methodist Church most certainly has a link to Malawi! And God brought us together before either of us knew that we had a common Malawi connection. The board of New Hope Free Methodist Church is now very seriously considering becoming our sending church.

We have seen God’s hand in so many different ways recently and it has been exciting to see how He has been at work. Hopefully we can share some more soon.

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